Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Beautiful Noise

I am loud, noisy at best.  There is no denying it and the proof is everywhere.  There was the co-worker who used to shush me,* or the fact that whenever I get really worked up about something that my volume and speed of speech increase like crazy.**  Pregnant Sara was thrilled when several veteran parents told me that one of their top mistakes as new parents was keeping the house too quiet when their first child was born, thus creating an environment when even the smallest sound would wake their sleeping child.  Note that a second children never get this "silence" luxury.

Before I had keen mother ears that awaken me at the slightest sound I too could sleep through almost anything.  I'd often boast about the time that I fell asleep at a Ministry concert.  But how do you train your children to sleep through anything without damaging their sensitive little ears, especially when their mother's "light step" is comparable to Godzilla invading Tokyo?  This is what has worked for us, so far.

Location of Nursery
Not only do we live right by several train lines, 8 to be exact, the nursery is the closest room to the tracks.***  It is also the closest room to the bathroom and the fan creates a great white noise the will lull them both to sleep.

Proximity to Other Children
We have no choice here...there are two children and one nursery, one child will often have to sleep through the other one crying, singing or snoring.

Let Them Be Noisy
My daughter is a morning person and likes to greet the day in song....a lot and loudly.  She is perfectly happy to lay in her crib and serenade her sleeping brother, come evening she sleeps through her night owl brother growling like a monster or mirroring the whale noise machine when he first goes to bed about an hour later than she does.

Background Noise
I provide this constantly, whether it's through the way that I clumsily drop stuff constantly while cleaning, the fact that my husband's band practices in our house while the children play downstairs or that there is generally a record playing at all times.

Learn Wake Up Triggers
For both children it's my voice.  If they hear my voice for too long, too loudly outside of their nursery it's game over - they're awake and so are we.

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*Or do that gradual lowering of the hand thing that Ross used to do on Friends to indicate that it was time to "quiet down" -
**This is the point where Chris suggests that I, "Settle down. Beavis."
***We have double insulated windows, but nothing can shelter the noise of two cars coupling or someone blowing a whistle at 3AM because some drunk guy decided to walk on the tracks.

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